BRIGHTON PEOPLE POSED FOR A PHOTO
(click here to also read what 1021 people in Allston-Brighton did)
I, John Spritzler, displayed this banner in the Brighton, MA Faneuil branch library (my neighborhood library) October 29, 2019. The banner contains photos of more than 500 people--all in Brighton, MA, zip code 02135—each posing for their photo by holding a sign saying "We the People want affordable housing for ALL. To get it we aim to remove the rich from power to have real, not fake, democracy with no rich and no poor." People at the library loved it! (Some of them had their photo in the banner.)
Read below to see why this is important.
POSING FOR THIS PHOTO
FRIGHTENS THE RICH
Click here to see the photos (and then click at the bottom to see multiple pages of them; you may need to click on a little 'people' icon at the bottom first in some devices. Also you can read the sign easier by selecting one photo and enlarging it.)
Click here to see a video of people who posed for this photo.
Click here to see a beautiful poster showing some of these photos (it's a large PDF file that may take about a minute to be visible)
I and others who joined me in this effort asked people in public places in the Brighton neighborhood of Boston (Zip code 02135) to pose for a photo while holding a sign (easy to read if one enlarges the photo) that says:
We the People
housing for ALL.
To get it we aim to
remove the rich from power to have
real, not fake, democracy with
no rich and no poor.
Even some people who didn't want their face to be seen held the sign in front of their face. Many people readily agreed to have their photo taken when asked--they liked the idea of making the rich and powerful fear We the People! I also found, however, that for each person who posed for a photo there were many others who agreed with the sign but just didn't feel comfortable having their picture taken for one reason or another (fear of something). I'm pretty sure their stated agreement with the sign was usually sincere; one such woman even bought a bottle of cold water for me because it was such a hot day, thereby expressing her support for what I was doing despite not wanting her picture taken. Posing for a photo with this sign is thus an act demonstrating serious commitment, an act taken in spite of some real fear. For every person who posed for a photo because they were not too fearful to do so, there are many others who also agreed with the sign but were too fearful for some reason to pose for a photo. And, by the way, very VERY few people expressed disagreement with the sign!
These photos are posted online in Flickr (here*) and in my Instagram page.
I and others are now displaying a banner--containing more than 500 photos of people in Brighton holding the sign (see the photo of the banner above)--in public places in Brighton. If you live in the Boston area and want to help display the banner in Brighton, please let me know at .
The Purpose of this is Two-Fold: To Make the Rich Afraid, and to Make Ordinary People Hopeful
1. To let the rich and powerful know that their refusal to build adequate affordable housing for ALL** is leading to the growth of a movement explicitly aiming to remove them from power, and that LOTS of people are expressing support for that goal. Only when the rich and powerful are made afraid of what will (or might) happen if they refuse to create adequate affordable housing for all will they start to have second thoughts about ignoring We the People the way they have been doing up to now.
2. To let ordinary people see that they are not alone in a) wanting to remove the rich from power to have real, not fake, democracy with no rich and no poor, and b) knowing that this is what is required to win what we want such as affordable housing for ALL.*** The more that people know they are not alone in having this egalitarian revolutionary goal, the more hopeful they will be, and the more confident they will be to join and help build a movement with that explicit aim. People are putting up stickers around town that say "LUXURY HOUSING: BUILT BY AND FOR THIEVES TO DRIVE WORKING CLASS FOLKS OUT!" This sticker lets people see that there's a movement growing, a movement that knows the rich and powerful are thieves who don't deserve their wealth and power.
YOU CAN DO THIS TOO, NO MATTER WHERE YOU LIVE, EVEN IF JUST WITH A SINGLE SELFIE
No matter where in the U.S. you live, you can do this too. If you have a smart phone to take photos then just download and print one copy each of this**** (which is the "Here's how..." message) or this (which is the poster with photos of people) and this (which is the "We the People..." statement.) Using something like a magic marker, write the zip code, where you'll be taking the photos, at the bottom of the "We the People..." paper. Though not necessary, it helps to make a double-sided laminate (a Staples or a UPS Store will do it for about five dollars) with one side the "We the People..." statement and the other side either the "Here's how..." message or the poster of photos. At first I asked people to pose for a photo by showing them the "Here's how..." side first and if they agreed to be photographed I handed them the laminate to display the other side ("We the People...") when I took their picture. Then later I switched to showing people the "We the People...." message first, asking them if they think it is a good idea or a bad idea, and then when they say it's a good idea I show them the poster with the photos of people and then I ask them to pose for a photo.
By the way, having a LOT of people from the same zip code pose for a photo shows that it's not just isolated and unusual people who want to remove the rich from power, but actually MOST people, since otherwise it would be very hard to get a lot of people in the same zip code to pose for a photo. This is why it would be great to ask a LOT of people in your neighborhood to pose for a photo.
I hope you do something similar in your neighborhood.
FRIGHTENING THE RICH, VERSUS REMOVING THEM FROM POWER
My goal, the egalitarian revolutionary goal, and indeed the goal of people who pose for these photos, is to remove the rich from power, not just to frighten them into creating adequate affordable housing for all. So why, then, does the We the People sign talk about affordable housing for all?
Here's why. Most people today think it is impossible to remove the rich from power because they know the rich have superior military force and because they don't think there are enough OTHER people who want to remove the rich from power and who would do something to achieve that goal. Until people gain confidence that we CAN remove the rich from power (by doing what I discuss here), they will think it is foolish to do anything the only purpose of which is to remove the rich from power. But doing something to frighten the rich so they will build more affordable housing makes sense to such people. That's why the We the People sign starts off by talking about affordable housing.
This "pose for a photo to frighten the rich" tactic is designed to encourage people--no matter how hopeless they feel about the possibility of removing the rich from power, and no matter how reluctant they therefore are to do something like go to a demonstration calling for removing the rich from power--to nonetheless do something to show the general public that they want to remove the rich from power to have real, not fake, democracy with no rich and no poor. This gives people a "baby step" to take, a step that, when lots of people take it, will encourage people to take the next step so that eventually we'll have a huge and determined movement that really CAN remove the rich from power as discussed here.
* If the link doesn't work, go to Flickr.com and then use the text search bar at the top to search for "John Spritzler" in the "people" category, and then click on my name or photo, and click on 'public view'.
** The lack of adequate affordable housing is the focus because it is a grievance that is widely shared in most parts of the United States, and one that people are extremely angry about. This "pose for a photo" tactic would also be good to use with a focus on a different grievance. The rich treat ordinary people like dirt in many ways besides not providing adequate affordable housing, and in a neighborhood where some other such issue is more of a concern to people then that issue could be substituted in the "We the People" sign.
**** The reason this page starts with "I don't want your money!" is because I have discovered that lots of people, when they see somebody in a public place holding a sign--any sign--assume the person is asking for money. I have had numerous people hand me one or two dollars for this reason, and I have to tell them I'm not asking for money. Probably one reason some other people just walk by without stopping to ask a question is because they don't feel like donating money.